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[Guide] Soraka, the Support Monster

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Carom

Member

12-02-2009

New AP ratio for Astral Blessing is:

Astral Blessing: 1.0

A good change, but I still wish it was a heal over time.


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wildfire393

Senior Member

12-02-2009

So here are the relevant Soraka changes from the patch:

HP per level reduced by 3. Kind of a nerf, but it's less than 60 HP in total so it's pretty negligible.
Astral Blessing changed to an Instant Heal rather than a Heal Over Time. This is pretty big. It's actually maybe worth taking additional ranks in this earlier (as it can more easily be used to pull a hurt ally from the brink of death), perhaps pushing Wish off even later.
Astral Blessing gives slightly less HP the first few levels (80 now versus 84 over 12 seconds before at level 1), but slightly more at the higher levels (300 now versus 276 over 12 seconds before at level 5). Not a major bonus, but again it pushes towards taking more than one rank of it.
Mana cost is higher at lower levels (80 now versus 60 before at level 1) and lower at higher levels (160 versus 180 at level 5). Again, pushes towards taking more ranks of this.
AP Ratio is actually worse than before. You get 1 HP healed per AP, whereas before you got .11 HP per second for 12 seconds per AP, which figured out to 1.32 HP per AP. This is again fairly negligible, but it does mean AP is a little bit worse on her now.
Starfall only gives -8 MR per stack, not -10. Fairly minor, as you tend to only get a few stacks per fight, but it hurts a bit.
Aegis gives 300/25/25/10 rather than 285/35/40/8. Slightly weaker defensively, but a bit better offensively.
Quicksilver Sash provides a cheaper alternative to Banshee's Veil. It's ability takes longer to recharge and doesn't stop damage, but it cleanses multiple effects in one go and is a lot easier to build into. Doesn't give HP though. Might be worth looking into in games with lower gold gains.
Executioner's Calling got several buffs to it, meaning it might show up at some point now. It still seems overall inferior to Bloodthirster/Stark's/Malady, however.
Deathfire Grasp provides a way to take a huge chunk out of the enemy's life total with low cooldown while providing some CDR, might be a viable item to check out.
Ambient gold gains are decreased a little but still go while dead. In return, minion kills are worth more. As most of your gold comes from minion farming, this is an overall positive for Soraka.


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Carom

Member

12-03-2009

I did a few games last night with my team and a few pugs (scary). The first two games we lost but thankfully they hotfixed the cause - Executioner's Calling - the DoT was doing tremendous damage with ridiculous AP scaling. A Fiddlesticks was running around just raping my team, the damage all around seemed spiking and bursty.

I haven't tried Quicksilver Sash yet so I won't knock it, however it's not on my list to grab.

Also, Leviathan is AMAZING. Between a few ganks, team battles, and counter-pushes this sucker starts shining. Not to mention that the 15% damage reduction is ridiculously good.

Item list for me is looking like this but not specifically in this order:

Leviathan
Innervating Locket
Aegis of the Legion
Soul Shroud
Rylais Scepter
Mercury Treads

I'd also suggest with a heavier support build, especially with early game.

Astral Blessing
Infuse
Starcall
Infuse
Astral Blessing
Wish

Keep alternating the Infuse and Astral with picking up Wish whenever it becomes available. One rank in Starcall is sufficient for harrassment, last hitting, and applying the debuff.


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FenrirOE

Junior Member

12-03-2009

First off, a huge thanks to Wildfire for this guide! I started LoL a week or so ago, and went straight for Warwick, as I am a sucker for life-leech in video games. After a while I discovered I was not performing very well, and used some IP to unlock Soraka (with an experience very similar to that you described in your first post), and went back to WW.

A few days back I stumbled across the guides section and absorbed this thread, took specific note of the item build, skill set, and suggested tactica for runes/masteries. Since then I've been doing MUCH better, closer to a 1:1 win/loss ratio or better in normal solo matches.

In that short time however, I have slightly steered away from some suggestions, which I feel like bringing up for those who may also try Soraka. First, I do grab the Mana Manipulator, but then save directly for Soul Shroud before anything else. After this latest patch increasing minion gold drops, I've been racking up around 3k fairly reliably before having to blue pill for the first time. After that it's straight to Mercury's Treads.

This brings me to a second point, I don't know if it's just me, but as Soraka, I NEVER stop moving. Even if my mage has blue pilled and there's no enemy in my lane, I am almost always pacing back and forth behind my line, or swerving around inside the minion combat. For one, almost all my damage comes from Starfall, I tend to ignore auto attack as a rule- (if not attended to you can chase someone into a tower) and secondly, it makes it tougher on the gankers. If you're always mobile it's hard for a Blitzcrank to nab you from the grass, or for an Ashe to hit you from across the field- and many more. If your minion wave gets wiped out and you wind up with minion aggro, this is also a great way to bunch them up for starfalls (but that's not too hard either way)

Then, depending on how things have been going Frozen Heart (I prefer maximizing my cooldown reduction asap), or Aegis of the Legion, and after picking that, I grab the other. At this point, I have been actually ignoring your advice to grab the Banshee's Veil and grabbing the Innervating Locket. After that- I haven't had a game last long enough for me to finish another item, but I've been trying for the Archangel's Staff- mostly to try it out.

I do still have mana issues from time to time, but I do use Infuse offensively a lot. It's surprising how potent it is, and many players just don't expect it at all. I couldn't tell you how many times I've had a Tryndamere whirlwind through our front line, to be starfalled, and then silenced (which does a surprising amount of damage), and beaten on by myself and a teammate within an inch of his life while he struggles to get back out.

Anyways, just some observations from a noob who was greatly helped by your guide. THANKS AGAIN!


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Carom

Member

12-03-2009

@Fenrir:

Don't completely ignore auto attack, Soraka has one of the longest ranges in the game. It also helps to harass enemy heroes, whittling away at them until my partner is ready.


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FenrirOE

Junior Member

12-03-2009

Good point, okay, I probably should've clarified on that, I agree with Carom- and I do use her long range to harass champions and peg towers. But I won't leave myself auto-attacking for more than a swing or two before relocating at least slightly, which was what I meant by "Auto-Attack". Right-click attacks are a good thing, when used smartly, but I still try to stay mobile when doing so.

Additional thought: One thing that bugs me (as a noob coming off of dps), is as support, there's no real easy way I know of to validate your performance. As a Warwick, I could check my champion kills compared to my team to make sure I was pulling my weight. As Soraka, all I can think to do is check my minion kills, but I almost always have most of the team by a decent length due to starfall's absorbing of them. How do you folks know when you're performing well versus performing poorly?


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ForestCrunk

Senior Member

12-03-2009

Here are a few things I look at to gauge how well I am playing with Soraka in game:

1. Assists - starfall usually will not get you many kills but with the stack MA reduction stack and its ability to be constantly spammed from a range in any battle you will surely rack up the assists in any fights. The silence on infuse also helps to get a lot of early game assists in my opinion. When an enemy champ is attempting to stun my lanemate so they can retreat I can silence and then its just over for them.
2. Are you winning? Soraka is a support char and as you know.. will never be able to win games by herself. If your playing well, chances are your team has an advantages in battles. When I play well, my team wins.
3. Saves - Especially now that we have TWO instant heals, it is pretty common to be able to save your allies in battle from "sure" deaths. A wish and a blessing right after another will quickly turn the tides in any fight. I love hiding in the brush while there is a 1v1 and right when the enemy thinks they have the kill BOOM FULL HEALTH?!?!?!?! FML!!!! dead enemy champion.
4. Minion Kills - With starfall you should have tons of minion kills. This not only means that you have a lot of gold but that you are pushing lanes. Soraka can push lanes very well with allies or by herself.. just be careful
5. Minimum deaths - Every player with a positive k/d ratio is at least doing something right!
6. Ally feedback - When you play well your allies will tell you so.. simple as that. Encourage your teammates and they will encourage you. As a support you don't have to worry about landing your rocket grab or getting the perfect rupture (isn't starfall great!!!). This gives you the ability to watch the map and act as a team leader. If I am able to act as a team leader and rally my teammates with me I am playing well.


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Drac0nis

Junior Member

12-03-2009

I've been in a game with Soraka as Taric and its a pretty killer combo if your team communicates well. We split up Aegis and Soul Shroud between the two of us and combined with our passive auras we had roughly 50+ MR & AR team aura with 15% CD reduction. And the heals... they wouldn't stop. Combined with Taric's ult, we were healing for 100hp/s (this was before the patch) on all nearby teammates with a damage boost with the ability to heal up to 700 hp on instant casts. They key here of course is to make sure all of your teammates are sticking close by and that they are focus firing on the enemy. Our team had a lot of momentum and could simply stay on the offensive longer and more effectively than the opposing team. I was also able to pick up more AP items as Taric (which I typically avoid) since I had another support character filling in for Aegis.


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wildfire393

Senior Member

12-03-2009

Quote:
Drac0nis:
I've been in a game with Soraka as Taric and its a pretty killer combo if your team communicates well. We split up Aegis and Soul Shroud between the two of us and combined with our passive auras we had roughly 50+ MR & AR team aura with 15% CD reduction. And the heals... they wouldn't stop. Combined with Taric's ult, we were healing for 100hp/s (this was before the patch) on all nearby teammates with a damage boost with the ability to heal up to 700 hp on instant casts. They key here of course is to make sure all of your teammates are sticking close by and that they are focus firing on the enemy. Our team had a lot of momentum and could simply stay on the offensive longer and more effectively than the opposing team. I was also able to pick up more AP items as Taric (which I typically avoid) since I had another support character filling in for Aegis.


The problem I've found with multiple supports (Soraka/Taric, Soraka/Alistar, Soraka/Heimerdinger) is that you need a certain threshold of good DPS/Tank/Mage characters for a Support to be effective. Soraka WILL NOT be outputting a lot of DPS in a team fight, meaning if you don't have at least two carries (physical or special) plus a solid tank capable of disabling multiple enemies at once, your DPS will be taken out early in the fight, despite all of the healing you throw at him, and then you're boned.


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IPlaySoraka

Member

12-03-2009

Multiple supports is fine, stacking heals is a terribly strong strategy (not so strong against executioner's calling / gangplank).

With the new changes I find that -CD is even more important than before and AP is less important than before. The reason for this is before your heal would last the full duration of the cooldown so getting minus cooldown items didn't actually increase your effective healing as much as AP did. Now that the heal is instant a reduction of 40% to cooldowns means a direct increase of 40% to ammount healed per second not to mention you can have your armor buff almost running on two people at a time.

I think the best bet for soraka is getting leviathan first to increase tankiness (because it's op) then from there work on CD items, I like to go with soul shroud and frozen heart, depends on what masteries you've taken. As for the masteries I really think that cleanse is too strong to not get right now, so defensive seems like the definitive choice at the moment.